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Consultation meeting with Beledweyn women and youth representatives on 31st December 2017

The meeting was opened by Mr. Ismail to welcome everyone to the event. In his opening words he mentioned the names and the designations of the leaders who are presen followed by the governor of Hiiraan region Mr Cali Jeyte. In his remarks, the governor sent warm greetings to the delegation from the NIEC. After the greetings the governor briefly talked election history of Somalia with the purpose of highlighting the huge progress that the country made from the year 2000. He however, stressed that there is need for population census before any elections are conducted in 2020. Lastly he praised the effort of the commission before he concluded by office ially opening the consultation meeting.
The deputy chairperson of the commission took the stage. In his speech he talked about the importance of the role of women in the society. He continued by highlighting how women are politically marginalized in the current clan based power sharing system. The deputy chairperson added that the only way in which everyone will have equal opportunity is through one man one vote credible elections.
Another issue in which the deputy chairperson, Mr. SaydAli explained in detail was the formation and the functioning of the political parties. He educated the people about the laws that govern the formation of political parties and the conditions they are required to fulfill before they are registered. In addition, the chairperson also explained how Somaliland conducted their elections. He explained this to make people understand that there is no universal rule in which elections are needed to follow. The deputy chairperson reminded the people that any country can hold elections basing on their political, economic and security situation.
After the deputy chairperson finished his remarks, Mr. Mahad made a brief presentation about elections which the people were extremely satisfied with.
Next, the participants were given opportunities to ask questions and/or make suggestions. Shamsa Issa Adan, the ministry of women and human rights representative for Hiiran region sent greetings to the chairperson of the commission. She presented a ‘Geeraar’ on the role of women in the society and another one on the importance of peace. She also encouraged the women to speak up and give their views.
Abduwahab Abukar Hassan, a member of Hiiraan Youth Organization expressed that he has no much optimism in Somalia holding one man one vote elections in 2020 because of security concerns. He also suggested that the commission needs to involve civil society organizations in its activities. Nim’a Abdi Shire raised an issue relating security concerns for the voters. She stated that some people who participated in the previous elections were killed. However, commissioner Said Hashi reminded people that for the country to move forward we have to make sacrifices and take risks.
Farhan Omar Arte who is the chair of Hiiran Woman Associaiton spoke passionately about the need to strengthen and taking care of the wellbeing of the Somali National Army if we are to conduct elections in 2020. She also stressed that there is need to carry out population census before elections.
There were several questions relating to the formation and functioning of political parties asked by many participants. The deputy chairperson asked Mr. Mohamed Mohamoud Hassan, NIEC’s political party liaison officer to clarify this contentious issue. Mr. Mohamed clarified the issue and explained the conditions that a political party needs to fulfill before it is registered. He also reminded the people that the number of political parties will be restricted by rules set for their formation.
After the question and answer session, the participants were divided into groups and were given questions to discuss. Every group selected one member who presented their answers to the rest of the audience.
The meeting was closed by the deputy chairperson of the commission by thanking all participants for their attendance of the consultative meeting and their active participation in giving their views.